2023 Truck/SUV Roundup

2023 Truck/SUV Roundup

Howard J Elmer

In 2023 we will see more off-road capable vehicles being built then at any time in vehicle history. Consider that over the past decade, every truck/SUV manufacturer has been pumping out more and more of these aggressive off-road designs. So, today, for those who actually use these wilderness-capable vehicles, there has never been a better field of purchase choices. With most of the Covid-related shortages and production problems now behind us, the 2023 model year promises to be a bright one.

Here are just some of the automotive headlines for the coming year:

  • New GM twins, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon coming; including some even wilder off-road versions including the first-ever Trail Boss and an even more capable ZR2 — built on three specific chassis setups.
  • Toyota Tacoma is up for its 7-year refresh – we haven’t seen anything yet, but we can expect meaningful changes.
  • Ford Bronco has added a “Raptor” version to its popular SUV.
  • Jeep is pushing its resurrected Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models – boasting more luxury and space.
  • Ford’s Tremor (off-road package) is added to F-150 but also to the Ranger and Maverick
  • GMC introduces the Sierra Denali Ultimate – as the name implies, it’s now the new top trim.
  • Honda Pilot is adding a mild off-road package called TrailSport
  • The Subaru Outback is being updated for 2023. It will be available in Convenience, Touring, Onyx, Limited, Wilderness, Limited XT, and Premier XT trim levels.


Trucks for 2023


For 2023 Chevy is adding the ZR2 off-road treatment to its Silverado. Sporting front and rear e-lockers, a special facia and the Multimatic DSSV damped shocks (already found on the mid-size Colorado ZR2).

ZR2 includes the 6.2L V8 mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission; uniquely-tuned springs; Terrain Mode; 33-inch off-road MT tires; skid plate package and a unique bumper with removable end caps.



For 2023, Tundra is all-new. It’s available with either the 3.5L V6 twin-turbo engine (389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque) or the i-Force MAX powertrain option which punches that up to 437hp and 583 lb-ft of torque. The truck has a max tow rating of 12,000 lb. Other highlights include an available 14-inch touchscreen, new audio multimedia system, 2.3-inch instrument panel display and Toyota Safety Sense 2.5.  Interiors are completely updated with new materials and designs. The 2023 Tundra TRD Pro version gains a stabilizer bar, red painted suspension parts, TRD aluminum front skid plate, underbody protection and all-terrain Falken tires. It is fitted with 2.5-inch FOX internal bypass shocks.


FORD Maverick

For 2023 Maverick gets the Tremor treatment.  Available on XLT and Lariat series trucks it includes a 1-inch lift, exclusive Trail Control, unique off-road front and rear suspension, advanced all-wheel drive with four-wheel-drive lock and 2.0L EcoBoost engine. Distinctive Tremor design cues include blacked-out Ford logos, headlamps and taillamps, signature Tremor Orange tow hooks, updated fender vent and new grille.


NISSAN Frontier

For 2023, Frontier is offering a unique Canadian-only model. The Frontier King Cab PRO-4X with 6-foot bed. It features shift-on-the-fly 4WD with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes. Frontier also has a 4-wheel limited-slip system. The PRO-4X model adds an electronic locking differential, Bilstein off-road shocks and underbody skid plates. New cargo bed utility includes available factory-applied spray-on bedliner and the Utili-track Channel System with its three “C” cross-section rails mounted in the bed. In addition, four fixed bed tie-down hooks help secure gear.


GMC Canyon AT4X

For 2023 we get a new Canyon and along with that an AT4X version. This is to be a no-compromises, off-road midsize truck. Canyon AT4X boasts a factory lifted, ultra-wide track; standard 33-inch MT tires, Multimatic DSSV dampers, front and rear lockers, underbody skid plates and the AT4X-exclusive Baja drive mode.


FORD F-150 Raptor

Ford, no doubt, created this off-road craze with its 2009 introduction of the desert racing-inspired F-150 Raptor. Today, the third-generation F-150 Raptor takes the Raptor and adds enhanced connected technology. Its HO 3.5L EcoBoost engine now delivers better low-end torque, enables greater towing and increased maximum payload capability. Its projected fuel range is 800 km. The Raptor R (a V8 powered Raptor) is coming later this year.



Toyota Sequoia

This third-generation Sequoia is completely redesigned. It now has an independent front suspension and adopts a new rack-mounted electronic power steering system. A modern multi-link rear suspension offers a smooth ride. It is available with load-levelling rear height control air suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) for those looking to tow regularly. The three-row SUV offers a range of configurations for seating and cargo. It will be available in five grades that include TRD Off-Road, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro and the new Capstone grade. With the i-Force max engine (437 hp, 583 lb-ft of torque) it can tow up to 9,000 lb.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L

This new Cherokee L model is built on an all-new global unibody vehicle architecture. This first ever three-row Grand Cherokee offers spacious seating for up to seven passengers. It has independent front and rear suspensions and Quadra-Lift air suspension. It’s powered by the Pentastar 3.6L V6 (290 hp and 257 lb-ft of torque). It tows up to 6,200 lb, while the available 5.7L V8 ups the towing capacity 7,200 lb.


Mazda CX-50 Meridian edition

Mazda CX-50 is a new crossover SUV. It comes with 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/60-18 all-terrain Falken Tires designed to take on challenging terrain. It’s powered by the Skyactiv-G 2.5L turbocharged I-4 engine (256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque). Mazda’s standard i-Activ AWD system works with Mazda’s Mi-Drive, that includes Normal, Sport, Off-Road, and Towing driving modes. It is capable of towing up to 3,500 lb.


Powertrain, Technical updates and Electric news 

  • Chevrolet has dropped its 2.8L diesel from its mid-size offerings for 2023.  Instead, it is now using a version of the gas-powered 2.7L turbo I-4 as its powerplant in the coming Colorado.
  • For 2023, F-150 Raptor R will be the most powerful Raptor ever. It features a new 5.2L supercharged V8 that cranks out 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque.
  • GM has announced a new feature in its Ultium-based EVs that captures and repurposes waste energy from the battery. This waste energy can increase a vehicle’s range.
  • Though it’s a year away, GM has announced the 2024 Silverado EV. This fully-electric pickup will use GM’s Ultium EV platform. It will offer standard DC fast charging capability and up to 10.2kW of offboard power.
  • Also announced is the all-electric 2024 Chevy Blazer EV SUV.
  • The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is in production. This is currently the only full-size electric pickup available from the Big Three. 
  • From Jeep we are getting a Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid. It will run up to 42 km on all-electric power. In fact, Jeep says all its SUVs will offer an electrified variant by 2025.
  • Stellantis has announced a new engine line. The 3.0L Hurricane twin-turbo, inline, six-cylinder engine will be replacing many of its V8s. 
  • Jeep Gladiator gets a new High Altitude trim featuring winch-capable steel front bumper, steel rock rails and front off-road camera.
  • The GMC line has introduced the AT4X – the GMC version of the Chevy ZR2.  Much of the underpinnings are the same; however, the designs are unique to GMC.  AT4X is to spread throughout the GMC truck and SUV lineup.
Categories: Driver Plus, Trucks Plus